Mermaid Arts Centre is delighted to welcome Susan McKeown as its new Transform Associate Artist (2023/4).
Susan joins fellow Associate Elida Maiques, as we say farewell and deep thanks to Emmet Kirwan and Shiva Joyce for their thoughtful contributions over the past two years.
These artists will be employed on a part time basis at Mermaid for one year, not on a project or commission basis, but rather to proceed with their work in a self-directed fashion except with less economic precarity.
This is not a standard bursary or residency. This is about what happens if creative practitioners and artists are embedded in organisations and have enough paid time and brain space to work on their own practice.
We’re thrilled to have these artists on our team and be able to include their voices in areas such as audience development, programme, artist supports and inclusion. We hope that we can improve the systems, processes and culture of our organisation beyond our artistic activity alone. Mermaid is determined to put the voices of communities and artists at the heart of our work, to be a home where everyone can be creative, where everyone can belong.
Associate Artist 2023/24
Susan is a polymath of creativity – a highly accomplished vocalist, songwriter, recording artist, advocate, producer and director who began her career in theatre. After attending the American Musical & Dramatic Academy she worked as an actor, then developing her voice and skills as a writer to create her own work. This signalled the beginning of a rich and varied era of collaborations for music, writing and film projects, often centred on young living in public housing, Travellers, and migrants including those living in Direct Provision, in Ireland and in the USA.
During her time at Mermaid she plans to develop ambitious new projects that will contribute towards the sustainability of her career, and looks forward to contributing to Mermaid’s development of community outreach and engagement, saying that she welcomes the opportunity to collaborate and shape the role as an experimental co-creative process.
Photo © Claude Isbell
Associate Artist 2023/24
Elida Maiques is a Spanish born visual artist residing in Wicklow.
In her art, she is expressing human connection with nature, especially with birds. In her everyday life she plants trees for birds to live in them.
Elida was growing up in disappearing countryside and since she was a child, she wanted to learn to understand and interpret the language of birds.